How deeply do companies really think through their staff benefits?
Happy people are more productive in the workplace so there is mutual benefit in being kind to your staff but is the result more driven towards keeping up with the status quo of benefits than really zoning in on what the individual devoting their time and energy to your business really wants and needs.
The most stressful times in my working life have been where I have seen poor practice and have not been in a position to make change happen. Being disempowered is the worst thing but having to nail your colours to an organisational flag which you feel lacks direction, talent, drive, whatever, can be really depressing.
So, my conclusion now that I run my own business is to make sure there is time to listen to all/any employees and whilst doing so keep an open mind. If what they are telling you does not make business sense, and it must, to pay everyone’s wages, then at least there is a chance for a full discussion, so people demonstrably feel heard and valued. If they then choose to move on, that will be their choice, based on sound business or personal reasons, and will be devoid of the frustration and evolving anger that so many people working in big organisations feel.
To me it’s a bit like being a gardener – keep all the plants watered and let them flourish. You will soon notice the ones that don’t and can take action – repot, replant, feed, nurture. Humans, being a tad more complex, need the opportunity to express how they feel, be listened to and reasoned with. They are all experts in your business and will know better than anyone how you can do better, so let them talk, listen to them and act when its right for the business. That way people and business thrive.
As a founder my Monday morning run has given me great ideas and drive at the beginning of the week. Now, as the team grows I would like to have a Nature Day/afternoon/ hour where we go outside, whatever the weather, to battle or enjoy the elements – together, a chance to just talk, throw ideas around and feel a valuable part of a team.
Going outside was always the best part of school – yet again children lead the way.